Thursday, October 11, 2012

Being pregnant after loss: Not feeling connected

I know that part of my decision to announce my pregnancy so early this go-around (pretty much the day I found out) was to be able to keep an honest record of what it's like --being pregnant after just buryinging your first baby.

I've been pretty decent about trying to take a weekly picture (I've skipped a few weeks here and there) of my growth and writing about things that are going on. I opted to keep that as more of a personal journal and not one that I simply publish for anyone to read. Maybe because it seemed like it didn't have enough content or might not be interesting to any readers, "gained a little weight this week...trying to be consistent in drinking enough water...been super emotional, but am grateful for a patient and loving husband..." or whatever else I happen to write about. Or maybe I don't write about it openly because in a sense it's been hard and maybe I haven't wanted to be honest about that.

When I first found out I was pregnant I was super excited and thrilled beyond belief. I knew my (and many other's) prayers had been heard and Heavenly Father had blessed me with what I had been pleading for for 6 months --to have another chance at being a mother, here, in this life.

I don't want to ever seem ungrateful that that prayer was heard, so please don't misunderstand me as I try to synthesize my thoughts about this pregnancy. I know there are so many women trying to get pregnant who would give anything to have the plump round belly that I now carry with me. I know how hard that can be. I've been in that category of women, trying not to be jealous of and covet every pregnant mom I'd see. So, I guess I just ask for understanding from that group of people -yes, it's hard to not be pregnant when you want so badly to be, but yes, it's also hard to be pregnant after you've lost a child.

From the get-go, I've yearned to feel connected to this baby. Perhaps out of fear or at least the knowledge I have now that my time with him could be limited. I've wanted to be able to have felt close to him, to have loved him. Well, that's the difficult part for me. I know some moms feel connected to their baby's spirits practically from the instant they conceive. I don't. So I anxiously waited until the time that I could at least feel this baby move. Or until the time that I could know his gender.

But it seems like both of those things came with more unforseen difficulties. Yes it was a miracle to feel this baby move for the first time and was an answer to my heartfelt prayers and pleadings to feel close to this baby. And for that I should remind myself to be grateful. Yet now that I feel movements . . . when I haven't felt movement in a while, how do you suppose I feel? Fearful. Anxious. Concerned. All of the above.

As for the gender . . . it was definitely a surprise to be having a boy. Of course it's always a "surprise" to find out the gender of your baby. I really thought I was going to be having a girl though. With Luke I thought I was going to be having a boy and I did, so I thought perhaps I had that "mother's intuition." We also had family members even have dreams with our baby girl. And so many of moms I know who have lost a baby have had the opposite gender next. I thought it would be easier to have a girl next so surely Heavenly Father would bless me with that. Well, as you know no mother's intuition, no fulfillment of dreams, and no little girl.

Of, course I never want our son to think he wasn't wanted just because I thought it would be easier to have a girl. That is in NO WAY the case. It just made things a little more difficult (like this shopping outing I wrote about back in July).

So truth been told. It's been kind of difficult for me and perhaps I've avoid writing about it because I didn't want to complain or possibly even admit how I was really feeling. It was hard to not feel connected to my baby and perhaps in a way I didn't want to admit that that's how I felt.


If anyone is still reading, I opted to continue on to the next part of my thoughts in another post, the good news is since starting this post a while back, I've been able to reconcile some of my thoughts and feelings. So I'll post about that shortly.  


  1. I can't really imagine how hard that would be. Hang in there. And don't feel badly about not being able to connect before birth. It's definitely understandable why you'd want to. I wanted to before having my baby as well, and you've been through so much, it makes things hard. But it's not uncommon to no feel connected, and it doesn't mean anything bad. And you care about your baby a ton already. =) You're a great mom. Hang in there!

  2. Shelley, I know I've thanked you before, but really, thank you for sharing this hidden and hurting part of yourself with all of us. It can't be easy. I hope you watched conference this last weekend - there were two talks which I felt were so beautifully delivered and meant to help people like you who have lost so much already-and people like me, who need to sympathize and prepare for my own trials. Anyway, I think you're wonderful, and I'm excited for you and this new little boy you have on the way!